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TFN Review: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Posted by Adam on December 15, 2016 at 10:32 AM CST
Rogue One puts the war back in Star Wars!

## SPOILERS AHEAD! ##

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As had been widely touted, there is no opening crawl, and following the Lucasfilm logo and "A long time ago in a galaxy, far, far away...." we jump straight into the movie at a point where Jyn is still a young girl and her father is pressed into serving the Empire to continue his work on the Death Star.

The story moves swiftly forward several decades where we are introduced to Captain Cassian Andor who has learned of a defecting Imperial pilot with a message from Galen Erso about a secret super-weapon. Soon after we find Jyn in Imperial custody, though not for long, as she is rescued by the Rebel Alliance and taken to Yavin IV, before journeying to Jedha alongside Cassian and K-2SO to seek out Saw Gerrera, picking up Chirrut ╬mwe, Baze Malbus and Bodhi Rook (the aforementioned pilot) along the way.

Following a visit to Eadu in an attempt to prise Galen Erso from Director Krennic's grip, the group briefly return to Yavin IV where they formulate the plan to steal the Death Star plans from an Imperial Compound on Scarif, the earnestness of Jyn's dedication to the cause prompting a number of Rebels to accompany the core team.

With Krennic also on Scarif seeking to ensure that the Death Star is invulnerable, the group are in a race-against-time to get the plans or die trying. Suffice to say, I think we all know how that part works out for them.

Much has been said about the tone of Rogue One and how it is very much a war movie at heart, but it also has some laugh-out-loud moments, with K-2SO being the primary source of mirth, although it is perhaps Chirrut ╬mwe who delivers the funniest line. It also feels like the most "wordy" Star Wars movie, with a lot of exposition, though not in a way that slows the pace of the story.

Along with the return of Darth Vader, Grand Moff Tarkin also makes an appearance, as does Bail Organa and some other favourites from the Star Wars saga. The work to bring Peter Cushing's character back to the big screen is quite remarkable as is the inclusion of a number of Rebel pilots from A New Hope who feature in a climactic space battle above Scarif.

There are also nods to the prequel trilogy along the way, while the films ending is absolutely breathtaking in showing Vader's total bad-assery in a manner we've never seen before, at least on film.

It's been suggested that Rogue One may already be a close-second to The Empire Strikes Back in terms of popularity amongst Star Wars fans, and while it's still too soon to make that judgment call, the movie has definitely managed to capture much of the appeal of Episode V and only time will tell if it can maintain that appreciation for many years to come.
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